Jicama – [ˈxikama]

Among the many exotic vegetables and fruits in the Monterey Market’s second-last aisle, this amorphous blob was the least frightening. I picked the smallest one (as big as a cantaloupe, but heavier).

Its taste has been described as a “somewhere between an apple and a potato”. Disgusting, but I went ahead and bought it anyway! I am fearless!

The fibery peel reminded me of a Kohlrabi, which, by the way, are also available here, but at prohibitive prices, as a “European specialty item” just like white asparagus. Have I mentioned that (green) asparagus tips are cheaper here than whole asparagi? I buy them for 1.69 a pound! Madness! Back to the root:

To the refined palate, raw jicama tastes like a cross between a daikon radish and an apple – completely lacking the bite of radishes, less sweet/sour than an apple, but more crunchy than both. The consistency seems to be the main advantage. It tastes good dipped in Hummus, or made into a slaw (I put it in cole slaw instead of apples). Needs some lemon/lime juice. Very refreshing. A+++ would buy again. Would not cook/roast, however, because it probably risks turning into some kind of rubbery mega-rutabaga.

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